To me, the Binghamton music scene stands out for how so many music acts hailing from the 607 meld genres with the sort of fluidity you can only cull from a melting pot. So I’ve really been looking forward to writing this artist profile on Tom Jolu. A band that truly personifies that concept of Parlor City eclecticism in beautiful ways.
Tom Jolu could almost be described as revival heartland rock. Or maybe post-heartland or alt-heartland are more apt descriptions, given the band’s strong undercurrents of contemporary indie spirit and that Spiedie-flavored punk rock gnarl we so lovingly cherish in our valley. It’s high energy and working class, rust belt but hopeful, biting yet somehow approachable. You could even call it downright wholesome at times. And that’s an algorithm few bands can find success with. Especially the type enjoyed by Tom Jolu’s growing fanbase.
Frontman Tom Lewis drives much of that “alt-heartland” energy into each song with vocals reminiscent of a young Bruce Springsteen, flavored with an occasional wobbly homage to Jello Biafra that ties in some of that punk energy. He’s an impressive showman, too, exhibiting tremendous energy whether he’s playing with the full Tom Jolu band or going solo with a guitar, a harmonica, and a kick drum.
Lewis has been making music as a solo artist since 2012. The fuller version of the band would eventually form in the fall of 2018, and their feet have barely seen the ground ever since. Tom Jolu has toured New York State, the East Coast from Binghamton to Florida and back again, and out to Minnesota. They’ve also released a staggering three full albums, including Josephine (2015), Call Me Jonah (2018), and Fools, Friends, and the Great Beyond (2021).
Oh, and let’s not forget that they’ve also released four EP’s—What You’re Striving For (2017), When Life Gives You Lemons, Have a Party (2019) and Solid Maybe (2022). Plus two excellent live EP’s, “A” is for Acoustic and “B” is for Bees, both released in 2019.
Tom Lewis serves not only as the band’s guitar-slinging vocalist, but also it’s principal songwriter. Completing this remarkable sound are bassist Reeve Longcoy (Grownups), guitarist James Pilipovic (Second Suitor), Matt Ebbers on drums (M.E. Creative Works), and the band’s horn section, comprised of the incredibly talented Brenna Swanger (She’s a Spy, Breakfast For Dinner, Like Lily), Justin Miller (Oarlock, Grownups), and Tim O’Brien (Oarlock, Grownups).
Learn more about Tom Jolu
Tom Jolu is a band with a lot coming up. And that includes four album releases planned in the next two-ish years. So you’ll definitely want to keep up with all of their goings-on! Be sure to check out their linktree, and explore the band in more depth here:
Tom Jolu are an unsigned, self-represented band. You can contact them directly via email at firstname.lastname@example.org for bookings and press/ media inquiries.